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Advanced Nutraceuticals: Botanicals and Special Patient Populations by Lawrence Cormier, MD

As integrative healthcare providers we seek to identify root causes, and treat each person individually and holistically.

Come watch our short video as Dr. Lawrence Cormier talks about Advanced Nutraceuticals: Botanicals and Special Patient Populations.


To make the point that as integrative healthcare providers we seek to identify root causes, and treat each person individually and holistically. But there’s nothing cheap about identifying symptom patterns and phenomena and allowing the treatment to flow from there, especially early on in your treatment relationship. While you’re pursuing identification of the root causes with some of the more time-consuming diagnostic tests, it’s often strategic to get on first base with a helpful nutraceutical intervention that takes place during the first month or two of treatment.

Botanical Nutraceuticals

More than most classes of nutraceuticals you will have or can have cytochromes P450 and other bio kinetic effects. Also, in my experience, and it’s something in the literature, perhaps greater than the use of SAM-e and some of the amino acid products, antioxidant products, you’ll have allergic reactions and asymptomatic mild elevations of LFTs.

You really need to know the benchmark constituent, or constituents for each of the products you’re using. Since it can be quite mind boggling with the multitude of preparations that are available, patients will change the product from time to time if there’s something on sale. If you can, US made products with certifications and organic are generally more reliable, but not always available.

Nutraceuticals during pregnancy and breastfeeding

I approached this matter with trepidation a decade or more ago when I began more substantial integrative psychiatric practice. Everyone has an opinion about what is safe and not safe for a fetus and women during pregnancy. Caution is in order. But you know, the same doctors who would dismiss the use of SAM-e, perhaps for a woman who is seriously depressed during pregnancy, would say nothing about saying to take a full dose of an SSRI, which can also be effective for depression during pregnancy.

Keep in mind, you’re dealing with a precious person at a special stage of her life and the fetus as well. Before you even consider any biotherapy issue you want to, you know, be the one if no one else is doing it to look at nutrition, psychosocial, both the strengths and the stressors, and the psychological.

Botanicals – In Conclusion

Botanicals, you want to use them for depression, anxiety and insomnia. You want to be mindful of their special properties. Regarding special patient populations, they actually have more in common than first meets the eye. So, your integrated holistic care will take place within the context of a village of significant others, a tribe of other healthcare providers. They’re often more complex and delicate than your other patient populations, and seniors and the medically ill are simultaneously delicate and treatment resistant.